Rolling Stone Australia


Exclusive: Behind the Scenes with the "Gambling Man" Mike Waters


Mike Waters' infectiously upbeat single, Gambling Man, thinly masks a self-depreciating assessment, the lyrical criticisms tangled in a seemingly optimistic, pop-focused construct. In a straight-forward act of juxtaposition, the Melbourne singer-songwriter requests reprimand for his recent foot-in-mouth stupidity, but cutely ducks behind his inexperience with relationships for refuge. Following this lead, the video by Oli Sansom presents a (presumably) naked Waters, vulnerable but unashamed, attempting to articulate his diarised thoughts while others playfully steer him off course with increasingly assertive tactics.

It's a visual guide that not only suitably matches the track's progressive unraveling, but also compliments the song's seemingly simple structure, that itself masks the detailed lyrical complexity within. The video's linearity similarly disguises the effort employed, the absence of showmanship only giving further weight to the song's own innocence.

As Waters himself explains: "I was back at Oli Sansom's studio, chatting about life or some such, and that's when he showed me how much B-roll he had from the Gambling Man video shoot. We'd done a lot of tests, and various trials of different ideas, as well as just generally being idiots suffering through various stages of caffeine-enhanced lunacy. It was so much more than just having an idea and executing it, and I wanted to share a little bit of that with the world. I don't think that people really expose their process all that often, because the focus is always on the destination, but I've been trying a lot harder lately to appreciate the journey instead. This project was just a series of trial and error until we got something we were happy with and we didn't want to change anything else about it."

In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, we follow this timeline of test cases as Waters and his team fight through the creative process.

Gambling Man features on Waters' debut EP, Life, available now via his Bandcamp. You can also catch him next month supporting Andrew McMahon on a short run of local dates, full details here.


Get updates on all the good stuff! Sign up to our Weekly Newsletter.